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Workers at Google Fired for Standing with Palestine

Google has fired 28 workers who staged a sit-in and withheld their labor. The movement for Palestine must take up the fight against repression.

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Google employees staging a sit-in against the company's role in providing technology for the Israeli Defense Forces. The company then fired 28 employees.

As part of the national day of action for Palestine, which saw actions in California, New York, and Chicago, workers at Google staged a sit-in at their job and withheld their labor, sending a strong message about the widespread support for Palestine. It also demonstrates the impact workers can have at their workplaces and the importance of taking action on social issues that affect us all, not just “bread and butter” issues. 

Workers at Google were specifically protesting Project Nimbus, a “$1.2 billion cloud computing and AI agreement between the Israeli government and two tech companies: Google and Amazon” which allows the Israeli Ministry of Defense to “store and process data, and access AI services.”

In response, Google bosses called the police on the employees, and have since fired them. This is unacceptable. Workers fighting against genocide should be celebrated, not attacked. We stand with workers at Google, and urge the movement for Palestine to take up the fight against repression as a central demand. Defending the movement at its ability to take action is a crucial step in fighting in solidarity with Palestinians. 

Below is the statement released by No Tech for Apartheid

*

This evening, Google indiscriminately fired over two dozen workers, including those among us who did not directly participate in yesterday’s historic, bicoastal 10-hour sit-in protests. This flagrant act of retaliation is a clear indication that Google values its $1.2 billion contract with the genocidal Israeli government and military more than its own workers. In the three years that we have been organizing against Project Nimbus, we have yet to hear from a single executive about our concerns. Google workers have the right to peacefully protest about terms and conditions of our labor. These firings were clearly retaliatory.

On the contrary, our bosses called the police on its own workers, the Nimbus Nine, who were arrested and taken into custody last night. Today, they punished all of the workers they could associate with this action in wholesale firings, through a dragnet of in-office surveillance. Google cited “bullying” and “harassment” as the reasons for workers’ firing. If there has been any bullying or harassment at the company, our Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim colleagues have been the recipients.

Google claims that protesters “defaced property” and “physically impeded the work of other Googlers.” This excuse to avoid confronting us and our concerns directly, and attempt to justify its illegal, retaliatory firings, is a lie. Even the workers who were participating in a peaceful sit-in and refusing to leave did not damage property or threaten other workers. Instead they received an overwhelmingly positive response and shows of support.

Google continues to lie to its workers, the media, and the public. Google continues to claim, as of today, that Project Nimbus is “not directed at highly sensitive, classified, or military workloads relevant to weapons or intelligence services.” Yet, reporting from TIME Magazine proves otherwise: Google has built custom tools for Israel’s Ministry of “Defense,” and has doubled down on contracting with the Israeli Occupation Forces, since the start of its genocide against Palestinians in Gaza. By continuing its lies, Google is blatantly disrespecting and disregarding consumers, the media, as well as, most importantly, its workers.

Google claims that the protest involved people who “largely” do not work at the company. This is not just untrue, it’s insulting. Thousands of our colleagues have joined our call for the company to drop Project Nimbus, supporting the dozens of brave workers who have spoken out publicly about how the contract is impacting their health and safety on the job. Most of all, it is insulting to those of us you just threw out of the company for voicing our concerns about Project Nimbus, as well as for the well-being of our Palestinian, Arab, and Muslim colleagues facing Google-enabled racism, discrimination, harassment, and censorship.

Sundar Pichai and Thomas Kurian are genocide profiteers. We cannot comprehend how these men are able to sleep at night while their tech has enabled 100,000 Palestinians killed, reported missing, or wounded in the last six months of Israel’s genocide — and counting.

The truth is clear: Google is terrified of us. They are terrified of workers coming together and calling for accountability and transparency from our bosses. They are choosing to reveal the falsity of Google’s “open culture” in order to get rid of a threat. The corporation is trying to downplay and discredit our power.

These mass, illegal firings will not stop us. On the contrary, they only serve as further fuel for the growth of this movement.

Make no mistake, we will continue organizing until the company drops Project Nimbus and stops powering this genocide.

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